Warming to slash equivalent of 80m jobs by 2030: UN
GENEVA, July 1: As climate change worsens, growing heat stress on workers in agriculture and other sectors will cause a productivity loss equal to 80 million full-time jobs over the next decade, the UN warned Monday.
A report from the International Labour Organization estimated that in 2030, 2.2 per cent of total working hours worldwide will be lost because of higher temperatures.
The per centage is expected to be more than double that in the hardest-hit regions, western Africa and southern Asia, according to the report "Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity".
This represents an economic losses totalling 1.4 per cent of global gross domestic product, or $2.4 trillion (2.1 trillion euros), ILO said.
"This is roughly equivalent to the size of the United Kingdom economy," Catherine Saget, a co-author of the report, told reporters.
The UN labour body stressed that this is "a conservative estimate", since it is based on assumptions that warming will be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Current estimates suggest that the planet could see warming double that amount.
ILO's findings also assume that work in agriculture and construction -- the two industries most affected by heat stress -- can be carried out in the shade, which is obviously not always the case.
"Even in the best-case scenario, heat stress will lead to dramatic consequences for employers and for workers, local economies and even the global economy," Saget said. -AFP